Monday, January 26, 2009

To Caleb & Matthew

You celebrated your first birthday yesterday. It's so hard to believe that one year ago we met one another for the very first time. Although, I had some suspicions about your personalities from feeling you move and grow inside me. I love that you are fraternal twins (although lots of folks ask if you are identical - daddy and I don't think you look alike at all) - each with a distinctive look and personality. Two unique miracles...

Matthew Hunter. You made your entry into the world just two minutes before your brother...making you the third of the Johnson boys. You swallowed a gulp of fluid on your way out and had some difficulty breathing. Initially, the docs and nurses observed you in operating room where you were born...and then made the decision to give you some extra care in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Daddy went with you to be sure that you were not alone and to keep a close watch on you. The neonatologist decided that your lungs were too "wet" for you to breathe on your own, so you got some help from C-Pap (Positive Air Pressure, I think). This device was placed over your nose and forced air into your lungs. It was a frightening thing to see someone so small looking so helpless. I was just down the hall and came to see you often. After nearly three days, you were breathing room air and the C-Pap was no longer necessary. I was finally able to nurse you, rather than pumping milk for you. We were finally getting to know one were sweet, snuggly, and absolutely precious. I was able to stay an extra day in the hospital so we were all able to leave the hospital at the same time. You joined Caleb and I in our hospital room on the fourth day of our stay, and your big brothers were finally able to meet you. You had begun to develop jaundice, so you spent some time "sunbathing" under some lights to reduce your bilirubin level. When we finally went home together, Daddy and I were never more certain that we chose your name well...Matthew - gift of God. Hunter is your Grandma Judy's maiden name...a family full of good, honest, sincere, hard-working, loving people.

On your birthday, Daddy was trying to choose one word that described each of his boys...your word was "contented." Caleb crawled before you, walked before you, and you didn't mind at all. You were taking your time. You truly are a happy little guy, not demanding much - but, enjoying anything that comes your way. You clap your hands and grin whenever someone else is celebrating or being praised. You love to snuggle and always lean in for another kiss from Momma. You do have a temper, however...we only see it when someone takes something from you. You get angry immediately - shaking your arms up and down, wrinkling up your nose, and making a growling sound and then producing tears. Even your tantrums are cute, for now. {grin} I love being your Momma, and I pray that you grow in wisdom, stature, and love for God and His people.

Caleb Robert. You were twin B, riding high in the womb and stretched out across my tummy for months. You were fiesty, active, and always made it tough for the technician to find you during our monthly ultrasound. I was so grateful to have you to keep me company while Matthew was being cared for in the NICU. You kept my arms from being empty, although still incomplete. Sam and Luke delighted in you when they met you. Sam couldn't wait to take a picture of you to share with his preschool class and Luke was a little less enthusiastic. {grin} He mostly ignored you and played with the remote control on my hospital bed.

Daddy really wanted to honor your Grandpa Bud by naming you after him. His given name is Calvin (although no one calls him that -except folks who don't know him)...we thought that Caleb was a nice modern version of that name. I struggled a bit because it means "bald." Your Grandpa Bud is bald...and you certainly had less hair than Matthew (yours was much lighter in color at birth), so maybe it's meant to be. {grin} Robert is a name with lots of history on both sides of your family. Your Daddy's Dad was a Robert and Daddy's brother is a Robert, too. Your Grandpa Bob died just before Daddy and I were married, but leaves a legacy that lives on in your Daddy and your Uncle Rob. Papa Bob was a man who loved fiercely, lived large, and delighted in his grandchildren. Oh, he would have been so proud that you shared his name. Your Uncle Rob is a hard-working, honest, smart, loyal man who loves his family...including you and your brothers. My great-grandfather was a Robert, as well. Great men with a great name. Daddy and I pray that you will grow to be a great man, too. A man doing great things for God.

You are still the more active, more assertive, more self-assured twin. You got the first tooth, crawled first, and walked first. You are quick to call {okay, cry} for help when you are hurt, scared, unsure of a situation, or feeling needy. Daddy's word for you is "uncertain." You need more reassurance...and we're happy to give it to you. When you are happy, you are so very happy! Your eyes light up, you squeal with delight, and your smile consumes your sweet face. You are a joy...a precious gift from God. Caleb, our greatest desire is that you would choose to love God with your entire life. That every bit of who you are would have God's fingerprint on it.

Happy birthday, my sweet boys.


Beth said...

I loved reading that, Christina.

ReillyClan11 said...

That was wonderful. Happy birthday boys!

Nathan and Jill said...

That was so sweet. What a great idea to write to them on their 1st birthday.

GranolaMom4God said...

Precious! They will treasure this recap when they get older. You should publish your blog into a book!

Kristina said...

Christina, what a joy it is to read your words to your boys! And I agree with Grandma should write a book!